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Please look at these leaves. Am I overwatering?

This is a discussion on Please look at these leaves. Am I overwatering? within the Phalaenopsis ('moth orchid') Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; Hi, Everyone, I have 6 phals at an east facing window. Recently one of the ...

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  1. #1
    baytownboy's Avatar
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    Unhappy Please look at these leaves. Am I overwatering?

    Hi, Everyone,

    I have 6 phals at an east facing window. Recently one of the smaller ones has become sickly. Its leaves have have become "soft," and one leaf has turned yellow.

    I've attached photos of the sickly phal, and a "sister" phal about the same size that is much healthier. Please note the poor roots on both. They used to be green, now they're dry.

    I think part of my problem may be that because these plants are so SMALL, they're pots are prone to get too much water. Still, I check each phal before I water to make sure it really needs it.

    I'm feeding weakly with a low nitrogen mix during the winter. Giving my phals one week of water only. And periodically adding a dilution of a rooting solution.

    The leaves have water spots from my daily spraying. I plan to get a solution to clean and polish the leaves. I've read that build-up on the leaves can prevent light absorption.

    I'd appreciate your recommendations.

    Thank you,

    Romulus
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  2. #2
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    Romulus, it does indeed look like over wet to me. Is the medium entirely sphag? If so the interior takes a lot longer to dry out than the top, and the roots inside rot and harm the plant even if the aerial roots look dry. My guess would be to repot and loosen the medium; maybe add some bark or charcoal to give air space.
    Hopefully someone more phal experienced than I will jump in an give help. Good luck!
    Tami

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    I agree, sphag can be a easier medium to over water with. Bark works better in plastic pots.

    I have used loose sphag in unglazed clay pots though since they breathe

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    I agree with Tami, the sphag looks very packed and the plastic pot has no side holes for aeration and also looks very tall for a plant this size.
    Clay pot and loose sphag works very well for me and I am not a phal person at all!
    (I put some charcoal at the bottom of the pot for drainage)

    I bet a phal specialist on the forum will be able to help you more thoroughly.

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    Clay and bark are my medium of choice for Phals. Make sure you cut away all the dead roots when you repot.

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    My phals have yet to spike, but so far, the frequency of rot seems to be down.
    I used to water my phals in sphag every week. The orchid store man told me phals in older sphag only need to be watered once every 2-3 weeks (4" pots no side ventilation slits, tightly pakced by the grower).
    I repotted a few phals in new sphag- not as tightly packed, 4" plastic pots w/side ventilation. They tend to dry out after 7-10 days.

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    Hi Romulus,

    Another thing to be careful of is that the sphagnum does not come in contact with the water in the pebble tray below the plants. If it is, it can wick up the water and become totally waterlogged, leading to a real risk of root rot.

    Cheers,

    Rob

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    Hi Romulus,

    I think you better report those with black or mushy roots. Especially the one with yellow leave and the one right next to it in the plastic container. People suggested to use fresh sphagnum moss. If I was you I just reuse the moss just squeeze all the water out. Here are the steps I would do.

    Pull out the plant and do what ever you have to to get all the moss out

    Cut off all the dead root (dry, brown, black, mushy). If it not green or silver then I am sure they are dead roots.

    Sprinkle some cinnamon powder and rooting powder at the base of the plant where the dead root use to be

    put a little foam at the bottom of the pot and add moss, then put the plant at the center and add more moss to stable the plant. The moss should be a little tie. if loose it hold more water. You are done.

    I received two phals from my friend that look like your. If my words is confusing I will show you picture of how to fix your plant up

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    Here is the photo I just took and repoted. Time took to repot 10 mins.
    1. The plants, tools (glove, scissor, peanut foams)
    2. Clean up plant, rooting powder, and cinnamon
    3. Rooting and cinnamon powder applied to base of plant
    4. Foam into pot
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  10. #10
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    5. Moss on top of foam
    6. Add plant
    7. Add more moss to stable the plant
    8. Finished plants.

    If you growth you phals inside the house with cool air conditioning run drain water out of the pebble stray. Move the plant to somewhere with good air circulation. Water only in morning when moss feel almost dry. If your house is hot the mist help but don't mist everyday again only in the morning. If it cool DO NOT mist because the water stay on the leave too long and kill your plant. Sorry if I misspell. Well hope it help.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

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